Transporter Refueled is Recycled

“Game of Thrones” alum Ed Skrein, a British actor of some screen presence, left that prestigious series for supposedly greener pastures after Season 4, leaving show-runner David Benioff and company to re-cast his role in a show not used to fractures in continuity. Surely the actor’s choice was for the betterment of a potentially shining career, right? Well, if “The Transporter Refueled” is anything to go by, Mr. Skrein needs a new agent. Not that it’s any surprise, but this franchise reboot is utterly pointless, offering nothing of value, including chaotic car chases. Instead of conjuring excitement they conjure a headache, choreographed without any mind for geography or even competent editing. Sure, Skrein’s got skills, as evidenced by his swordplay on that aforementioned HBO barn-burner and his relatively impressive command of Karate and the like in this movie, but besides a pair of off-putting baby blues, he’s a blank slate as a younger Frank Martin. As his father, the elder Ray Stevenson fares better, bringing Cold War-era charm to the role of an ex-government operative who wants some quality time with his ex-military son. Unfortunately for him, he’s kidnapped not once, but twice, an obvious sign of conceptual scarcity on the page. At the behest of four women, all former sex slaves, father and son become entangled in a plot to pillage the sex trafficking group that ruined their lives for so many years, and thus a message regarding such is shoehorned into an otherwise mindless affair. For the most part that message is toothless, but female lead Loan Chabanol makes you believe a woman can cry. She’s seen things, and it shows. I’ve barely made a note of any gnarly action because there’s not much to speak of save for one nifty sequence where Martin breaks a few skulls in front of a moving car. That’s where “Transporter” truly fails, because if you can’t get a few adrenaline dumps whilst watching a Jason Statham wannabe kick ass, then what’s the point? If you’re me, you’re too curious to find out why on God’s green earth an actor would leave one of the best things going on cable television. But you’re not me, so don’t see “Transporter Refueled.”

Grade: D

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